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Point of View: The Spirit Embodied

Wed, 07/07/2021 - 19:08

Herrick Park in the early evening is a nice place to be, quiet and calm as the sun goes down, an anomaly in the traffic hell this place has become.

Of course, it may be that the sweet silence I have felt there may be owing in part to deafness. While tempted, I’ll stop short of championing it as a cure-all.

It took Kevin Bunce, whose son I was interviewing there the other day, two hours to drive from Southampton, what it would ordinarily take you to drive to Glen Head. Commandeer the shoulders, he said.

It appears we’ll go to our graves saying “More lanes,” rather than “More light.”

The goose that lays the golden egg is on life support.

But utter despair, I’m reminded, is at odds with the feelings of thankfulness and resolve that should attend the anniversary of our country’s founding. We should be thankful for our forebears’ resolve and resolve to try, in whatever ways we can, to embody and extend the liberal spirit born of the Enlightenment.

Happily, several intrepid and generous young men with whom I’ve spoken lately have given me ample reason to hope that we’re not, as my late stepfather used to say, going to hell in a handbasket.

One was Jake Epstein, the president of East Hampton High’s senior class. The others were Drew Harvey, Payton Dwight, and Jimmy Beh, who set forth from the State of Washington on a 3,400-mile cross-country bike ride a month ago, mindful of friends who had fallen victim to opioid overdoses and intent on combating depression and addiction by building fitness stations here, and, ultimately, throughout America.

These three graduated a couple of years ago from the University of San Diego, whose motto is “Emitte Spiritum Tuum” . . . “Send Forth Thy Spirit.”

Jake Epstein, who, in Bubby waders cheered on all of East Hampton High’s teams during trying times, a maroon EH flag waving behind him as he dashed back and forth, has sent forth his spirit too.

Long may they all live.

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